Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finding Mr #3569

Though I have only touched on it and will continue to elaborate in small doses, it has become clearer and clearer that I have some purpose as a bridge between life and what happens to us after. My mother has said since I was young that I knew just as many people in the cemetery as people alive. I have pretty much had a toe or two in the grey area and have been put in situations or in communication time and time again since the age of 8 with those going out or hanging to speak.
Yesterday we decided to stop off for the night in one of my favorite new age towns, Eureka Springs, Arkansas. In my 10 years living in Missouri, that place was sort of a cosmic refuge for me. Johnny and I have been put to the test for weeks now, slowly moving to Wimberley, fighting illness, fighting each other, stressed over how many places we are paying rent on and how to get the Austin ones back on the market. We have been taking some giant leaps of faith and they have been all consuming. Many things have gone wrong in the process and I still have a milion questions about our decisions. Add Christmas plans, presents and travel in the midst of it all. Here goes the travel portion part 1.
We set off from Austin Monday morning to go to my mom's house in the midwest for Christmas.
We found a motel in Eureka Springs with no dog limits and drove there over 11 hours through dark winding wooded roads with a full moon and dead trees setting up the ultimate Sleepy Hollow vibe. We were SO READY to be there and when we eventually arrived, suitcases were chucked into a motel room and we went downtown to find food and wine. The motel was the greatest I have ever seen for $50 and faced the deep hilly woods. There was no one else staying on our side of the motel and the fog was so thick, only the first trees and moon were visible.
We eat and drink at a lovely cafe. Horse drawn carriages covered in jingle bells passing by make Olive crazy and we make fast friends with a beautiful Minnesota man that works at the cafe. He had a lot to say about the vortex pull of Eureka Springs and how it pulls people back and treats them either really great or spits them out. Apparently the town is built on quartz and made up of limestone. HUge energy conducters. Add in a huge fire in the 1800s and wiped a lot of the town away and you have the perfect recipe for residual shenanigans. It's a town so spooky quaint and well preserved with springs still running through and bath houses converted to shops. A few of the original majestic hotels are still open and are very much haunted. The healing energy of the town has brought an abundance of healers and spiritual guide types as well.
In this mountain town you will also find some of the best Bed and Breakfast experiences out there in most of the elaborate Victorian homes.
After a wonderful night of sleep in our $50 hotel room, we get up, pack up and head back out inthe the thick fog for a daytime stroll through town with the dogs. Everyone stops us to ask what kind of dog Olive is and she proceeds to have diarrhea in front of a shop on a balcony. This happens every trip. The inopportune poo timing travel conspiracy.
After an odd lunch at a Indian Restaurant with only 2 actual indian food items on the menu, we set off for the 4 or 5 hour trek to my moms house in the burbs of Kansas City, but not before we decide to stop at a state park to let the dogs off leash to ensure they nap the rest of the trip.
I make a few random turns towards a place called Beaver Lake Dam and miss a road I am drawn to and turn around. I see a little park on a glimmering lake and we let the dogs out.
Far down a hill on this rocky beach, we start finding sticks for Olive to catch and I bring my fancy camera.
Stella, our smaller mixed breed, a ferrel dog we rescued a few years ago is batting at something on the beach. I flippantly tease Johnny to go check it out and hope it's not body parts in bag.
As we get close we see it is indeed a plastic bag with a glimmering silver tag.
The tag reads Greenbriar Crematorium #3569
Inside the bag is a rather large pile of scorched bone fragments, teeth and algae.
I know what this is immediately. I worked in a funeral home in college as a counselor.
What people call "ashes" is really more of a kitty litter consistency.
It's obviously an "ashes thrown in a favorite fishing spot" gone awry. Pretty sure the water receded and exposed it.
No one scattered this person. They just threw them in.
I feel so suddenly responsible and sensitive. I want to do the right thing.
In the state of Arkansas, they don't classify cremated remains as a body and the police will not get involved.
So, I prayed over this baggie and cast it back in. I remained very unsettled about it though.
Tonight Johnny researched and called the crematorium to get the person's last name that we found so we could feel a it better at acknowledging them and to see if there was anything more we should do.
Apparently the man's last name was Sargeant and he died in 08. That's all we got.
I hope he is in peace.
I took a photo of the bag so I could remember the tag info but I'm torn on whether to post it. It's intriguing but not sure if it's respectful??